The NFL recently concluded an investigation it began since the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The accusation came when a player from the Colts intercepted a ball from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and felt something wrong with the ball. That player went to the sideline to inform the Colts General Manager, Ryan Grigson who then requested the league to investigate. The results found that the balls used by the patriots were in fact deflated so in short, the Patriots cheated. Now the game was a virtual blowout so some are skeptical as whether or not this was a factor in their victory over the Colts.
Would it have mattered or not isn’t the question, the question now is what exactly does this mean for the Patriots now they have been caught again. Back in 2007, the Patriots were caught video-taping on the Jets which permanently stained the team and labeled them cheaters to the rest of the league. Since then the Patriots have always had a watchful eye on them and the rest of the league has taken measures to ensure a fair chance against the once powerful team. Under Belichick, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls, numerous AFC titles, and broken several records that will probably never be touched in my lifetime. But ever since they were caught in 2007, some have questioned whether or not those records should be respected.
Some throw out the claim that the Patriots aren’t the only team that cheat in the NFL so I say to them, does that make it right? Now you may be asking yourself is deflating the ball that big of a deal? In a way because if you think about it, the softer the ball it then the easier it would be to grip or catch. Even if it wasn’t easy, the fact is that the Patriots were using balls that were against the NFL’s rules and regulations. So the next question is what will happen now and that is a very complicated debate considering that this is a team that dominated the early 2000s. Should that matter?
Not really but the fact is America loves winners and they pay top dollar to see winners win so the Patriots generate a lot of revenue for the NFL. Not to mention there is Rodger Goodell whose decisions on punishments as of late have been lackadaisical at best. Let’s not all forget about the infamous Ray Rice incident, the former Baltimore Raven who knocked out his wife in an elevator and at first was only suspended for two games at first. Only until the video emerged of Ray Rice punching his wife out did Goodell initiate a real form of punishment which was Ray Rice’s immediate termination with the Baltimore Ravens. Unlike Ray Rice, this is out in the open and the results are in so a decision has to be made but what kind should there be?
USA Today and other media outlets have already voice their opinions as well as several celebrity and public polls, the Patriots should be disqualified. As children we’re taught that cheaters never prosper so if the Patriots were to go and possibly win the 2015 Super Bowl on February 1st, it would be a travesty. In every other sport, when an athlete is caught cheating they’re disqualified from competition and that’s what should happen out of principal. I’m pretty sure it won’t with the Super Bowl only two weeks away but hopefully Rodger Goodell will listen and do what should be done. If not then most likely what will happen is what happened last time, the Patriots will be fined money they can afford to lose and lose draft picks they don’t need anyway.